I just realized this morning that I have been writing this blog for almost two months, but most people still don't know much about me. I'm not sure if this will give me more credibility or less, but I still think that it is important for people to understand a little about me before they decide whether or not to trust my opinions. So here we go. . .
I am 25 years old and have been active in the outdoors my whole life. I rock climb, ice climb, mountain bike, road bike, trail run, canyoneer, ski, snowshoe, etc. I am most passionate about rock, ice, and alpine climbing, but I use all of the other activities as training.
I have been rock climbing for about 13 years, ice climbing for 5 years, and combining the two for a couple years.
I've been mountain biking for 15 years, many of which include competitive racing. I have been road biking for about 7 years, most of which have included competitive racing.
I started skiing when I was 10, which soon became an addiction. I bought a season pass to Snowbasin every winter through junior high and high school and averaged between 50 and 70 days of skiing per year. My desire to ski more technical terrain and find better snow led me to the backcountry, and the majority of my skiing in the last five years has been backcountry or side-country skiing.
I don't claim to be a runner, but I have done a decent amount of running over the last 10 years. I originally started running competitively in school, but that has evolved to mostly trail running. I ran a 28-mile trail race last year and really enjoyed it and considered getting more involved in ultra-marathons, but I realized that I enjoy climbing, biking, and skiing more than running, so I mainly run to stay in shape for the other activities.
I have also been a gear addict since I was about 8 and would order catalogs from all the main outdoor companies and compare all their products. I got a job at a local outdoor retail store at 16 and worked their for a total of 5 years, with a 2-year break in the middle. I didn't make any money while I was there; most everything that I made went straight toward gear. I have worked at the Weber State University Outdoor Program for 4 years as a trip leader/guide, and in their rental shop for about a year.
I have taught mountaineering and backpacking courses at Weber State for 3-4 years and have led (not guided) climbing trips to places like the Tetons and Mt. Rainier and have guided some outings around Ogden.
I married my beautiful wife last year. She is an avid backpacker, hiker, and road biker. Last year, her first year of road biking, she decided to ride in the LOTOJA with me, which is a 206-mile race from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming. Being her first race, she wasn't expecting much, but ended up taking 1st place in her age group.
I have never been a world-class anything, but I've always been pretty active in just about everything. The hardest climbing I have done is V7 bouldering, 5.13- sport, 5.11 trad, WI5 ice (WI5 ice feels fairly easy, but I've never had the chance to lead harder), M7 mixed. I have spent a decent amount of time climbing in the Tetons and Wind Rivers, but the majority of my climbing has been in Ogden and Salt Lake.
While looking for gear, I have always found it helpful to read other people's opinions on a particular product, the good and the bad. I find it especially helpful when that person has similar interests as I do. I also find it helpful to see lots of pictures, including pictures of the person wearing/using the products. These are all things that I have tried and will continue to try to incorporate in this blog.
I hope this information will help you understand a little more about my background and the focus of this blog and help you decide whether or not this will be a helpful resource for you.
Thank you to everybody that has started to follow this blog! It definitely helps me stay motivated to write and share when I know others are benefitting from it. Please feel free to share your opinions with me and let me know if there is anything in particular you would like to hear about or gear you would like to have reviewed. I'll do my best, as money and time allows, to address those things.